IN less than a month Zimbabwe celebrates its 36th birthday and instead of being a time for merrymaking, April 18 should be used as a day for introspection.Regardless of their political affiliation, Zimbabweans should ask themselves whether independence has brought with it the advantages they thought it would and if not, how this can be corrected.
Rather than a celebration, this year’s Independence Day should be commemorated as a solemn occasion, as it should get Zimbabweans thinking about how they could change their circumstances, since what the country is going through is definitely not what the nationalists had hoped for when they pioneered the armed struggle.
It is a sad indictment of both the government and ordinary Zimbabweans that we have let the situation deteriorate this badly.
When previous generations felt affected by discriminatory politics, they confronted and sought to correct the situation, but the current generation seems content to let the situation deteriorate even further.
Questions have to be asked as to what happened to yesteryear’s inspiration of standing up to bad governance and why this generation is passive on how they are governed.
As April 18 beckons, every Zimbabwean should hang their head in shame, as the country has gone backwards, leading others, whether rightly or wrongly, to start comparing the current status with the colonial era and others boldly declaring that at least the government was able to feed the nation prior to 1980.
Zimbabweans should be ashamed that in 1980 they had one of the strongest currencies in the world, but a generation later we do not have a currency of our own.
To add insult to injury, some economic indicators point to Zimbabwe as the poorest country in the world. What an embarrassment.
Surely there must be something we can do, rather than just lying back and hoping someone else will fix the situation for us.
As a wartime US poster says, “your country needs you”, every Zimbabwean has a civic duty to correct the state of affairs.
This is not a time for passing the buck, but rather of how we can all come together to get us out of the mess that we find ourselves in.
April 18 should remind Zimbabweans how they identified an injustice and fought to eradicate it and how party affiliation did not stop people from across the political divide celebrating the lowering of the Union Jack and the raising of the Zimbabwean flag.
Blaming sanctions for the economic morass should also be an anathema and instead we should find ourselves united in coming up with innovative tools to help us beat those measures.
The Rhodesians were able to beat sanctions and why can we not do the same? Are we conceding that Rhodesians were more patriotic and believed in themselves more than Zimbabweans?
Surely, we are better than this and we all have a role to play to get Zimbabwe working again.